Types of Treatment Modalities Used in Physiotherapy

Types of Treatment Modalities Used in Physiotherapy

Manual therapy

Manual therapy is a technique used by physiotherapists to manipulate and mobilize affected joints by massaging them with the use of their hands.


Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) therapy

It is a technique wherein a small battery-driven device is used to send low-grade current through the electrodes placed on the skin surface. A TENS device temporarily relieves the pain of the affected area.

Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) therapy.

Magnetic therapy

Electromagnets of different types and sizes are available, and can be self-applied under the guidance of a trained professional. This can help in limiting the pain.

Dry needling and acupuncture

Fine needles are inserted into specific body points, which reduce pain for a short span of time.



This technique promotes the body’s natural healing process. A tape is used, which lifts the skin away from the connective tissue, hence increases the space and allows the lymphatic fluid to move more effectively.


Joint mobilization.  This type of manual therapy technique is used wherein a physiotherapist mobilizes the joints at different speeds, depths, and amplitudes to restore normal joint movement.


Stretches and exercises

Physiotherapists teach various exercises and body stretching techniques, which help restore joint movements.



A wide range of strengthening, preventative, and corrective exercises are used to alleviate disease conditions.


Strengthening programs

Physiotherapists conduct specialized programs, and educate their patients about personal responsibility for health and physical conditioning. Such programs help patients in improving their overall strength, balance, coordination, and flexibility.



Hydrotherapy utilizes water to treat arthritis. Specialized exercises are performed inside water with a temperature range of 33-36 degree Celsius under the guidance of a physiotherapist. It involves various stretching, aerobics, and strengthening exercises.


Hot and cold applications

Application of ice, cold packs, nitrogen spray, and techniques such as cryotherapy can relieve the patients from acute conditions. In cases of chronic conditions, physiotherapists use hot packs, infrared heat, diathermy, and ultrasonic waves.


This technique uses electrically induced heat or high-frequency electromagnetic currents to cure various conditions.


Ultrasound and phonophoresis

Therapeutic ultrasound uses the frequency range of 0.5 – 3 MHz. This technique helps in lowering down the inflammation by inducing deep heat to a localized area to cure muscle spasms, promote healing at the cellular level, increase metabolism, and improve blood flow to the damaged tissue. Phonophoresis is a technique that utilizes ultrasonic waves for effective absorption of the drugs which are topically applied. This technique has been found to be effective in relieving pain as it allows maximal absorption of drugs such as anti-inflammatory and analgesics.


Range of Motion (ROM) exercises

Range of motion exercises is used to improve joint mobility and to decrease muscle stiffness. Various types of ROM exercises include Passive Range of Motion (PROM) exercises, Active Assistive Range of Motion (AAROM) exercises and Active Range of Motion (AROM) exercises.


Soft tissue mobilization

Soft tissue mobilization or therapeutic massage helps in relaxing tight muscles, relieving pain, and reducing swelling.

Health benefits of physiotherapy

PT helps the patients suffering from certain movement disorders, which could be congenital (present at the time of birth), age-related, accidental, or due to certain lifestyle changes.


Physiotherapists work in collaboration with their patients by advising or guiding them about certain exercises and educating them about certain lifestyle changes, which altogether help alleviating various painful and impaired mobility conditions. Physiotherapists also promote movements such as walking and provide certain mobility aids, which can help the patients in improving their ailments.

Hand massages performed by physiotherapists can relieve patients from pain and stiffness by improving blood circulation and relaxing the affected area. This technique is known as manual therapy which is used to mobilize, manipulate, and increase the functioning of the affected area.

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